Beavs lose one their greats

CORVALLIS, Ore. – John Didion, an Oregon State All-America and NFL player, passed away Tuesday at age 66. Didion starred at center for OSU, lettering from 1966-68 and garnering All-America honors in both 1967, as a member of Oregon State's famed ‘Giant Killers,' and 1968.

In 1968, Didion earned consensus All-America honors and was also a second team All-America selection by the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI). He was also a first team Pac-8 and an All-Coast player that season.

At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Didion played in the Senior Bowl, Hula Bowl, Coaches All-America, College-All-Star and East-West Shrine games.

He was selected in the seventh round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins where he played from 1969-70 before moving to the New Orleans Saints for the 70-74 seasons.

A 1991 inductee into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame, Didion is currently a nominee for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Following his playing career, Didion embarked on a storied career in law enforcement providing 35 years of service for the Pacific County Sheriff's Office in Washington.

After being named the Washington State Police Officer of the Year in 1997, Didion was elected three times as the sheriff of Pacific County from 1998-2010.

He held integral roles at various times in his career including as the president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC); a member of the WASPC Executive Board; member of the Washington Association of Counties Board of Trustees; member of the D.A.R.E. America National Charter Advisory Board; member of F.E.M.A.'s National Advisory Committee; Washington State D.A.R.E. Program Coordinator for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Academy; and as a member of the Gang Resistance, Education and Training (GREAT) Program national Training Team.

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